Father’s Day is around the corner so today I am sharing my top skin care tips for the men out there. Men experience many of the same skin conditions as women (acne, eczema, dry skin, etc) and can learn a lot through other posts I’ve shared on my page. However, there are some conditions in men that have more specific advice.
This is one of the most common complaints of my male patients. Facial hair is quick to grow and most men have to shave every day or
two. The sensitive nature of facial skin combined with the razor will often result in some irritation, called razor burn. To prevent razor burn, it is important to properly prepare your face before you begin shaving. This means washing your face with warm water before you shave and use a lubricant (shave gel or soap) to help the razor glide over the skin. Make sure that your razor blades are new and sharp and follow the grain of hair with short strokes.
If you find that your skin is uncomfortable after your shave, instead of using plain moisturizer, apply an aloe-based cortisone cream. This will help to calm your skin and reduce any irritation.
Ingrown hairs occur when hair curls and then grows back into your skin, instead of away from the skin. Also, when dead skin clogs a hair follicle, the hair will grow sideways under the skin. These will appear as bumps which may resemble small pimples. There is usually some irritation the bumps can be uncomfortable. Some people can see pus inside of the bumps, and may actually be able to see the hair that is ingrown.
For men, ingrown hairs are very common on the chin, cheeks and neck. Facial hair tends to be coarser and therefore is more likely to become ingrown, especially after it has been shaven.
Ingrown hairs usually resolve on their own. If not it can become infected – and if you scratch or pick at the area it will leave a scar. When you notice an ingrown hair that is bothersome or infected, contact your doctor for treatment. Your doctor may release the ingrown hair with a small cut into the skin and may prescribe treatment to help with your skin and any infections.
Preventing ingrown hairs is not entirely possible but you can take some measures to help limit them. The same steps outlined above for razor burn will also help with ingrown hairs. In addition, you can try to tease out ingrown hairs by rubbing your face in a circular motion with a wet washcloth.
Two-thirds of American men will experience a significant level of hair thinning by the age of 35. There is a huge market for hair loss products but sadly many of them fall short of their claims. In terms of routine, there isn’t much you can do to prevent hair loss. Good health and nutrition will help to slow the process. If you aren’t into the bald look, I’ve seen patients have good luck with a medication called Finasteride (commonly known as Propecia). Rogaine has more limited results and but is sometimes good to use in combination with Finasteride. If you can afford them, hair transplants are a great options where strips of hair are removed from fuller parts of your head and grafted into bald areas.
Jock itch, also known as tinea cruris refers to an itchy rash in the groin area. This is generally seen in jocks and people who are more active. A fungul infection is the most common cause of jock itch. This infection is treated with antifungal cream medication over the course of two to four weeks but may need an oral medication as well.
Fungus will grow in warm and moist environments so taking care to keep the groin area clean and dry is important. Dry off after bathing or excessive sweating and wear loose cotton underwear. After swimming, take off wet suit right away.
Itching and irritation in the groin area should be presented to a doctor for treatment as soon as possible.
I want to take a moment to call out aging in men specifically. Women tend to spend more time obsessing about wrinkles and sagging skin but trust me, the men are asking about it too! Women tend to start utilizing anti-aging products from a younger age, and therefore the wrinkles appear later on. I know that many men prefer a simple, easy skin care regimen. However, the advice I share in Dr. Ip’s Tips for 4 Decades of Beautiful applies to all genders. It’s never too early to start a skin care regimen that will help with anti-aging.
Share this with the men in your life, and encourage them to visit a doctor for any concerns.